How Postpartum Anxiety Can Be Cured Without Medicine, Follow This Method
Postpartum anxiety, as well as depression, can be commonly seen today in young parents. Unable to deal with the challenges of the new parental life, postpartum anxiety occurs which could be followed by depression; and with this comes its treatment. Medications can help deal with this, but it is preferred to avoid medicines for the feeding mothers; as it has a direct effect on the baby too. The good news here is, that it can be dealt with without medications also if it is not much severe.
In order to understand the various strategies involved, it is first important to know about postpartum anxiety and depression.
What is postpartum anxiety?
It is also known as postpartum blues. The anxiety that is faced by people who have just become parents to a baby is termed postpartum blues. After having a baby, the life of the parents changes drastically due to the demands and needs of the baby. All the parents face this which is also known as new parent jitters. But the problem begins when parents are in a constant state of worry all the time, which can sometimes result in serious mental problems.
Earlier, it was thought that postpartum anxiety and depression occur only in mothers as they have a full-time job with the child; but this has not been the case. It also occurs in fathers as in many cases, both the parents equally share the responsibility of the baby.
Constant worry, stress, feelings of worthlessness, and nausea can be commonly seen in people suffering from it.
Postpartum problems can be further divided into 3 categories :
- Postpartum blues/anxiety: This state often falls under the initial stage and it results immediately after giving birth to the baby. In this state, feelings of frustration, anger, constant worry, and fear last for almost a week, and then the individual gets fine after that. This is a very common state and many people become a victim of it. Basically, it is a state about which there is nothing much to worry.
- Postpartum depression: The state that follows postpartum blues is postpartum depression. The major characteristic of this stage is sadness and depression which can also include the feelings of causing harm to self or the baby.
One of the major differences between postpartum anxiety and depression is that anxiety is somewhat less intense with constant or almost constant worry and fear whereas depression includes sadness and thoughts of harm.
This stage can be treated without medication and with positive coping strategies if the depression is not too severe.
- Postpartum psychosis: This is the final stage of postpartum which is quite severe in nature. Postpartum depression could be treated with the help of counselors, mental health practitioners, and psychologists even without medicines. But in this stage, if the individual is suffering from severe psychosis, medications will have to be prescribed.
Various strategies to deal with it are :
- Increasing the level of happy hormones in the body: Stress and depression can lead to more stress hormones such as cortisol and to contradict it happy hormones such as dopamine should be released in the blood in more amounts.
To increase the amount of these hormones, it is advisable for the mother to give more hugs and cuddles to the baby. This will not only increase the flow of happy hormones in the mother as well as the baby but will also help in forming a more secure attachment between the child and the parent.
- Taking a good amount of sleep: One of the major problems, post-birth is that the parents are not able to take a good amount of sleep. They have to manage their work as well as make adjustments according to the baby’s sleep patterns. Usually, the baby sleeps during the daytime, at that time the parent is busy fulfilling their responsibilities. And the baby wakes up multiple times at night also, hence not letting the parents take an adequate amount of sleep.
To deal with this problem, the family or the partner can play an important role. Certain time slots can be given to the parent – to take naps and feel fresh again, to deal with the challenges. In joint families, this problem can be easily dealt with as compared to a nuclear one.
- Participating in support groups: Indulging in various support groups helps the parent to know about the difficulties that other parents face and it works like a catharsis session that helps relieve the parents. It also gives them a sense of belongingness and a feeling that they are not the only ones dealing with it. This helps in normalizing their thinking patterns and lowering their blues or anxiety.
It can also help them gain insights into some of the problems when other parents share their ways of dealing with similar problems.
Not only this but the feelings of worthlessness can also be reduced as one socializes and gets familiar with people dealing with similar life changes.
These strategies can work along with a healthy and balanced diet which includes a proper amount of vitamins and minerals. As the mother gives birth to the baby, she also goes through a lot of bodily changes which can also be a cause of depression; and can be dealt with a nutritious diet.